I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, Texas is scheduled to execute the 500th prisoner since the death penalty was reintroduced. We are going to introduce you to Kirk Bloodsworth, who was the first prisoner released from death row 20 years ago because of DNA evidence.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we want to talk about a new TV show that has people thinking about how Latinas are depicted on TV. We'll head into the beauty shop for that conversation. But first, we are going to turn back once again to the Supreme Court, which released two major rulings today on the issue of same-sex marriage. The court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which has barred federal benefits to same-sex couples.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Earlier this month, St. Paul's College, a tiny, 125-year old liberal arts college in southern Virginia, quietly announced that it was throwing in the towel and would be closing its doors at the end of June.
The 600-student college had been struggling for years to find funding and to remain in good standing with the accrediting body that governed it. But St. Paul's president said that its plan to merge with another unnamed historically black college or university (HBCU) had suddenly and unexpectedly imploded, leaving the school's board of trustees with few options.
"There are no two ways about it: the bullsh*t is strong with wine."
That's what Robert T. Gonzales recently wrote on io9.com in a post that eviscerated wine tasting as a form of skilled craft. "Wine tasting. Wine rating. Wine reviews. Wine descriptions," he writes. "They're all related. And they're all egregious offenders, from a [expletive deleted] standpoint."
This was the scene last night in the Texas Capitol building.
MONTAGNE: Crowds who came out to support a nearly 11-hour filibuster by Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis erupted in screams in an attempt to stop a vote on a bill that would have forced all but a handful of abortion clinics in Texas to close. That's because, among other things, the bill would require clinics be upgraded to ambulatory surgical centers, something that the clinics say they can't afford.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Wimbledon is underway, which means the tennis world's most famous hawk is back in the spotlight. No, not the Hawk-Eye ball tracking technology linesmen use to help make calls, an actual hawk. His name is Rufus, and his job is to scare pesky pigeons away from the All England Club before the crowds of tennis fans arrive. Rufus also worked the 2012 Olympics. The hawk, of course, has his own Twitter account to squawk at his admirers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited the hospital to pray with his family on Tuesday. On his Facebook page, Makgoba posted the prayer he said for the 94-year-old anti-apartheid legend and former president. He wrote:
Good morning, I'm David Greene with health advice from Russia.
Gennady Onishchenko, the country's chief sanitary inspector, is encouraging food patriotism. Translation: More borscht - cut the meals at McDonald's. The fast food chain is popular in many Russian cities. But Mr. Onishchenko had more to say. To beat the summer heat, he said people should just get to work early, rather than wear, quote, "spotted little pants that stop above the knees." We think he's referring to shorts.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In the midst of the housing crisis in 2008, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were brought into government hands. And today, over 90 percent of mortgages are guaranteed by the U.S. government. That's a potential burden for taxpayers if mortgages fail. Yesterday, a bipartisan Senate bill was introduced to try to unwind the government takeover, as well as Fannie and Freddie. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
Jordan's King Abdullah vowed to make the desert kingdom a "free Internet" country as he began his rule more than a decade ago. On June 2, when local Internet providers were ordered to block hundreds of news websites across the kingdom, Web publishers protested the broken promise and international media watchdog organizations charged censorship.
As we've been hearing, the reaction to the court's decision was strong and immediate.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
President Obama said he was deeply disappointed and he called on Congress to act. Civil rights groups say they have lost the most powerful weapon in their effort to ensure equal access at the polls.
MONTAGNE: But as NPR's Pam Fessler reports, some lawmakers in states where voting laws changed - voting law changes were subject to federal approval are saying they're finally free of an unfair burden.
The official clock ran out on Texas lawmakers overnight, which effectively killed a bill that would have dramatically restricted abortion in the nation's second most populous state. Hours of chaos and confusion in Austin finally lifted as Texas Senate leaders decided that the vote on Senate Bill 5 did not clear a constitutionally-mandated hurdle that it pass before midnight.
Started in 1888 by suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony, the National Council of Women of the United States still exists today in a small office near the United Nations.
On the organization's 125th anniversary, it teamed up with the University of Rochester to open an old safe painted with the words "Woman Suffrage Party." No one knew what was in the safe or when it had last been opened.
We usually think of college sports in terms of classic big-time schools, polls and bowls.
But, in fact, our athletics are intertwined with β and complicate β all higher education.
The University of North Carolina, Wilmington provides a typical recent case. The Seahawks field teams in 19 Division One sports, but unfortunately, like many colleges, UNCW athletics are in the red, so the chancellor, Gary L. Miller, assembled a committee, which recommended the elimination of five sports: men's and women's swimming, men's cross country and indoor track and softball.
Sometimes when there's a daily drumbeat of news β war, protest, unrest β it's good to find those moments to pause, dig deeper, and find layers of the story that are easy to miss.
Tina Brown, the editor of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's David Greene to help us do just that, as part of a recurring series Morning Edition calls Word of Mouth. This month, it's stories of global conflict and the media that β for good and for ill β cover those stories.
High-paying investors have helped Las Vegas' real estate prices to bloom in a place that once ranked as the country's foreclosure capital.
Thanks to these big-money investors as well as a shortage of supply, the median price for a single-family home in Vegas is up 32.8 percent from a year ago, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.
Lawmakers continue to wrangle over a bill that would overhaul the nation's immigration system. One provision in this bill would allow companies to import a lot more skilled workers. The tech industry has lobbied hard for this, despite fears among some American workers about the extra competition.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says the bill has American workers covered. "Employers will be given a chance to hire a temporary foreign worker when truly needed. But first, they'll be required to recruit Americans. No exceptions, no excuses," he said.
File under "one of the oddest jobs ever": professional mourner. China's funeral rituals date back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, but were banned during the Cultural Revolution as superstition. Now these funeral rituals have become an income source to a select few who stage funeral extravaganzas, marrying ancient Chinese traditions with modern entertainment.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:42 am
By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)
"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.
New observations of a fairly well-studied star have revealed a system with at least six planets, three of which are in the star's habitable zone. This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the same system.
President Obama unveiled a sweeping plan Tuesday designed to deal with climate change. For the first time, carbon emissions from power plants would be regulated. The policy, which can be implemented by the administration without congressional approval, calls for a broad range of actions, including steps to deal with extreme weather events that are already occurring.